Carlson Wagonlit Travel reports strong 2017 performance

Sub-Title:
CWT 3.0 digital transformation strategy gains traction
Magazine:
27th Apr, 2018
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Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), the global travel management company, today reported a strong performance in 2017, the first full year of its digital transformation strategy, CWT 3.0. 

“2017 was the year our digital transformation strategy – CWT 3.0 – started feeding through to the numbers,” said Kurt Ekert, President & CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “We remain focused on delivering a technology-driven, consumer-grade experience across all channels – and on building a high-growth hotel distribution business. Our 2017 results show our strategy is working.”

Highlights for the year ended 31 December 2017:

Financial* 

  • Contracted new sales** - US$ 1.7bn      
  • Total transaction volume  + 3.6% - US$ 23.2bn
  • Revenues + 1.9% - US$ 1.4bn      

Operational

  • Grew transactions 1.5% to 60m
  • Delivered a new travel technology platform, myCWT, to drive digital products
  • Increased investment in technology by 61%
  • Launched RoomIt by CWT, the hotel-focused proposition – an industry first for a TMC
  • Passed the 1m download milestone for CWT To Go™
  • Secured 10% increase in the number of corporate meetings and events business

CWT reported a strong financial performance for 2017, with transaction volume up 3.6%, revenues up 1.9%, and US$1.7bn in contracted new sales, due to particularly robust growth in Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

In 2017, CWT became the first TMC to build and launch its own hotel distribution business, RoomIt by CWT. This is the first TMC-developed hotel-focused proposition, designed to provide travellers with rooms, rates, amenities and loyalty programs, by integrating retail and corporate-negotiated hotel rates with those from a number of other large hotel content providers. During 2017, year-on-year hotel revenue growth was up 13%, underlining the importance of better content and hotel booking capabilities.

2017 saw the successful transfer of myCWT, the company’s proprietary travel booking portal, onto a single, self-contained platform, owned and operated by CWT. The move is part of CWT 3.0, enabling the delivery of new products more quickly and easily, and providing customers with a better service and more innovation. 

CWT also passed the one-millionth registered user milestone for the mobile app, CWT To Go™, and began trialing air booking capabilities.

In addition to the main business travel offering, CWT operates four specialist services, all of which delivered notable successes during the period:

CWT Energy, Resources & Marine (www.cwt-energy-resources-marine.com) delivers specific travel needs for clients operating in the oil and gas, mining, maritime and alternative energies industries. 2017 revenues remained stable compared to 2016, as industry conditions started to recover.

CWT Meetings & Events (www.cwt-meetings-events.com) helps clients with creating and managing meetings and events while enabling them to control and reduce their related expenditures. In 2017 revenues increased by 6% and the team organized almost 38,500 meetings and events (around 105 each day), up 10% on 2016.

CWT Solutions Group (www.cwt-solutions-group.com) helps deliver travel procurement efficiencies through innovations in supplier sourcing, data intelligence, traveler management and mobility. In 2017, the team achieved 11.9% revenue growth and notable developments included the launch of a Mandarin version of CWT AnalytIQs, the proprietary business intelligence and reporting product for travel managers.

RoomIt by CWT (www.carlsonwagonlit.com/roomit/en/home) provides access to hotel rooms, rates, amenities, and personalized promotions, while helping organizations control their budget and improve travel oversight. Following its formal launch in July 2017, RoomIt has already gained clients independent of CWT's business travel offering.

*Excluding international partner network, but including JVs

** Annualized contracted new sales, excluding renewals, but including joint ventures, with no comparative to prior year.

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